Monday, December 28, 2020

Christmas things I never want to forget (2020)









Happy Monday, my friends. I hope that your Christmas was wonderful! Ours was very sweet—there are so many moments from the days leading up to Christmas that I don't want to forget, so I thought I'd share them here to have them to look back on in coming years. I pray that my words always point you to Jesus. For today's post, I am linking up with Tanya from The Other Side of the Road.


Some of my favorite moments from the season were spent right here and gazing at the tree. I love it best in the late hours of the night and the early hours of the morning. My favorite time of the day are the hours before the sun makes its appearance and since I had covid (a week before Thanksgiving we were sick), my body has been unable to sleep as much. I'm going to bed later, getting up earlier and am unable to even think about a nap if I'm tired—even on Sundays. (Is there anything better than a Sunday afternoon nap?) I go to bed around ten thirty these days and I'm up by five, but I wake up feeling rested and refreshed. I love the morning time because of how productive I am when nobody is up—usually by the time everyone starts going to work/doing school work, I have prepped dinner for that night, cleaned the kitchen counters and emptied the dishwasher, folded a load of laundry, made lunches and coffees to go and have spent quality time with Jesus. I love a productive morning and am always happiest when I've made the most of my time. Also, I am my mom's child. I remember her being exactly the same way when I was a teenager and she is still this way today. 


I don't want to forget any of our family time. If 2020 has taught us all anything, it's that life is precious and quality time with loved ones is the best—the older I am, the sweeter the time gets. The picture above is our Goodwin family Christmas from Saturday December 19th. We missed Tim, Tracy, Nathan, Joseph and Zeke, but we certainly understand why they couldn't be with us. Almost three years ago, Tracy received a new heart, so because of how careful they always need to be to guard her from any sickness, we thought it would be best for them to stay home. Next year will be back to normal and hopefully we will see them soon.


I never want to forget how Drew has been making us laugh for over twenty years now—this was him trying to reeanct The Christmas Story scene when Ralphie sticks his tongue to the freezing pole, except that this lamp was hot and he wanted to see how long he could stay here. I'm laughing as I write this, because Drew has been so funny lately and he has always been the family clown. This happened at Dad's on Christmas eve—they had to get up from the table several times, they were laughing so hard. (Is there anything better than that kind of laughter? Dad and I do this almost every week when we're together.)


Noah is always so sweet to take pictures for me and when I ask him for a hug every night, he always says the same thing: "Is that even a question, Mom? Of course you can"! I am such a hugger and I love when my family gives them to me and I'll always keep asking for them. I got one from Drew last night because it was Christmas and I asked him for one. (I'm writing this on Saturday morning.)


Some of my favorite moments to sing at church happen during the Christmas season. I consider it an honor to be even the smallest part of helping lead worship on a praise team some Sundays, which is when I took this picture above. We had just finished a morning rehearsal and I had some time to spare, so I caught up on my Bible reading and Scripture writing.


I never want to forget how magical our little town is. We live in Collierville, Tennessee, which I lovingly refer to as The Ville. It's always beautiful, but at Christmas it is perfect in every way. Our town square is one of my favorite spots to be and I went there twice the week before Christmas. 



These pictures are of my oldest son's truck. Graham received these pictures for Christmas from his Mimi and Papa, then he added one more frame with some more pictures. I love how much he loves his truck and I thought it would be a great gift idea to forever memorialize the way it looked when he was twenty one. We all know how fast these years go by and how quickly things can change and honestly, I wish that Todd and I had done this with our old vehicles and homes we've lived in. You know it's a good gift when someone either wears something you've bought them immediately or when Graham came home to hang these the night he got them. 

Noah is our youngest son, two minutes younger than his twin brother Jonah. I never want to forget the miracle that this car was this Christmas. Because of the fact that they're twins, Jonah and Noah have been sharing a vehicle since they turned sixteen. My dad-in-love Wiley let them use his truck that whole first year that they drove and right after the quarantine, he let them have the truck fully as theirs. Jonah set about making it his own because they knew that someday Noah hoped to have a car and the truck would belong to Jonah. (All our sons have always wanted or had trucks—though Graham's first vehicle was a Bronco from the eighties—except for Noah and he has always wanted a car.)

Fast forward to Wednesday, December 16. A friend of Todd's shared on social media that he needed to sell this car quickly. Todd told him he wanted first dibs, that he wanted to see it in person and test drive it, but that he was very interested. The next night was Thursday and when I came home from having been with my dad, the couple this car belonged to were here and talking. It was really cold that day, so while Todd and Noah took it for a drive, I invited them inside. They ended up staying for dinner because all the boys went out and we had such a sweet time of dinner and getting to know them. It's a young married couple who are having a baby soon and they needed to make room for the bigger vehicle they had to buy. We told them we definitely wanted this car and they left it here for us that night. Now  that the insurance and tags have been taken care of, it's officially our seventh vehicle that we keep here at our house. (Six people, six vehicles and one work van that Graham drives.) So, welcome to the Goodwin Family used car lot and welcome to this little silver bullet that Noah drives now. It's a 2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse and is in excellent condition and we got it for an unbelievable price.

Needless to say, Christmas came early for Noah and he has been happy as a clam. I still get so excited for him, when I know that this beautiful car is his. I love that he's his own person and that as the tallest person in our family he now drives the smallest car. I don't know how he folds up into this thing, but I'll say this: it's fun to drive! It takes me back to my high school days when I had a Mazda MX-6—I also called my old car the silver bullet. 

It's funny how that when you first become a parent, you no longer care about receiving gifts. I felt like it was my own personaly Christmas present that night, as it all became official. I could never want anything more than for my boys to love and serve the Lord Jesus with all their hearts, minds and strength and to know they're content and thankful. 


I never want to forget this night, the day I turned forty-four years young. All I wanted for my birthday was a good dinner and some pictures with my guys. It's my best and favorite birthday yet. 



I never want to forget wonderful time spent with my best of friends. I've seen three of them in the last two weeks—above is Christa and me, I went to Nashville with my bestie Missy two days before my birthday and I had lunch with sweet Teresa Friday the 18th. I have plans to see Andrea very soon and I am counting down the days until I see her again.



I never want to forget fun times with Mom and Dad and the fun that I had with each of them—like on this particular day when Mom and I were out on Wednesday before Christmas. We ran into this precious man dressed as an elf who was just wanting to spread Christmas cheer to all. I asked him what made him do this and he said it was because of how hard a year it has been for so many people. He told me if he could make just one person smile and bring them joy, then it was worth every second of his time. He is retired these days and does this each year, I suppose and had just been to his grandchild's school the week before. He said he loved spreading joy to others—I knew when he said that one thing that he was a believer. I knew it in my heart almost the minute he said it, because the Holy Spirit in me seemed to recognize and respond to the Holy Spirit in him. The Bible tells us that are bodies are the temple of God in 1 Corinthians 6:19 and I believe with all my heart that you instantly know when someone when someone is a fellow believer and follower of Jesus.



Like I said earlier and say often, quality time is my love language and I never want to forget time spent with the people who are most important in my life. Our families are one of God's sweetest gifts to me.



I love sitting in church with all of our sons and it's a very rare occasion. Usually two of them doing tech team stuff (Todd and Graham), Drew works in the special needs ministry some and I sing in choir or on a praise team. I had asked them to sit up close on this night at our first of three Christmas eve services, because I was on the praise team and I needed quick and easy access to a seat with them. I love this service each year and though this year looked so different, it was every bit as sweet.








Christmas eve with Dad and Sandy is always so special. We were smaller in crowd size this year, but it was a really sweet night with yummy food. Aren't their lights beautiful? Trish and I keep saying how we outdid ourselves this year. 






I don't want to forget that this year was so different for us on Christmas eve when we came home from Dad's. For the first time ever, they came home and went somewhere. We dropped Graham off at a friend's where he had left his truck earlier, and the other three went to hang out with a friend and drive around. Todd and I watched tv, I stuffed the stockings, but all of the gifts were wrapped and we only had one thing to do for Drew's big gift. I went to bed and nobody woke up early on Christmas morning, so I enjoyed some quiet time and I passed out all the gifts for when they started waking up. We finally woke them all at nine so we could get started. 

More than ever, I never want to forget why we celebrate this season—it's all because of Jesus. God the Father sent His Son as a gift to bring to us salvation. Along with that comes the peace and hope that only Jesus can give. If you don't know Him, don't wait too long! I had a conversation just Thursday with one of the boys' friends, because he doesn't truly know Jesus. I told him I loved him and that I was praying for him, but when he told me he's drawn to the peace he feels when he's around me, it's really Jesus that he is drawn to and the Holy Spirit is working on this young man. Would you help me pray for him? I won't mention his name, but the Lord knows. My prayer is that when people enter into our home, that they feel the peace of the Lord and I pray that we represent Jesus well wherever we go.

My dad has a sign in the doorframe of his home that I love. It says, "Peace to all who enter". That's my prayer for our home and I always want people to feel loved and welcomed in when they come in the front (or back) door. 

Thanks for reading my blog! Love to all.













Jen.

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